Verse > Sir Thomas Wyatt > Poetical Works
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Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503–42).  The Poetical Works.  1880.
 
Odes
Despair counselleth the deserted Lover to end his Woes by Death, but Reason bringeth Comfort
 
  MOST wretched heart! most miserable,
Since thy comfort is from thee fled;
Since all thy truth is turned to fable
Most wretched heart! why art thou not dead?
  ‘No! no! I live, and must do still;        5
Whereof I thank God, and no mo;
For I myself have at my will,
And he is wretched that weens him so.’
  But yet thou hast both had and lost
The hope, so long that hath thee fed,        10
And all thy travail, and thy cost;
Most wretched heart! why art thou not dead?
  ‘Some other hope must feed me new:
If I have lost, I say what tho!
Despair shall not therewith ensue;        15
For he is wretched, that weens him so.’
  The sun, the moon doth frown on thee
Thou hast darkness in daylight stead:
As good in grave, as so to be;
Most wretched heart! why art thou not dead?        20
  ‘Some pleasant star may shew me light;
But though the heaven would work me woe,
Who hath himself shall stand upright;
And he is wretched that weens him so.’
  Hath he himself that is not sure?        25
His trust is like as he hath sped.
Against the stream thou mayst not dure;
Most wretched heart! why art thou not dead?
  ‘The last is worst: who fears not that
He hath himself whereso he go:        30
And he that knoweth what is what,
Saith he is wretched that weens him so.’
  Seest thou not how they whet their teeth,
Which to touch thee sometime did dread?
They find comfort, for thy mischief,        35
Most wretched heart! why art thou not dead?
  ‘What though that curs do fall by kind
On him that hath the overthrow;
All that cannot oppress my mind;
For he is wretched that weens him so.’        40
  Yet can it not be then denied,
It is as certain as thy creed,
Thy great unhap thou canst not hide;
Unhappy then! why art thou not dead?
  ‘Unhappy; but no wretch therefore!        45
For hap doth come again, and go,
For which I keep myself in store;
Since unhap cannot kill me so.’
 
 
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